Building a roof terrace on downstairs neighbour's flat roof

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    Building a roof terrace on downstairs neighbour's flat roof

    Good Afternoon All

    We have recently moved into a victorian conversation where we share the freehold between the owners of the other flats formed part of the conversion.

    Our flat looks over a relatively large ground floor extension with a flat roof and my wife and I were thinking about possibly building a french door out onto the rooftop to form a roof terrace.

    Firstly we would have to speak to the owners of the extension in order to check this is ok and that their roof was built structurally in order to allow this.

    From what I understand we would first have to get the permission of the other freeholders in order to do this, and also ensure that we do not overlook the downstairs neighbours garden, so we would look to only convert half of their roof for a terrace in order to not fall foul of privacy concerns.

    I believe the next step would be to hire an architect to go about planning and acquiring planning permission.

    This is all very new to me and I'm just piecing together what I've learned, does this sound like reasonable steps or is there anything that I'm missing?

    Thanks all!

    1) The extension will not be built to withstand additional weight on it, unless it snows heavily every year, which in England, it does not.

    2) I would not allow my roof to be used for anything. Yes, not your roof, but MY roof that has to be maintained by the leaseholder that owns the roof on the extension.

    3) the roof does not belong to you, and you cant just commandeer it with or without permission.

    4) ALL costs related to your quest will be payable by you, and you alone. The freeholders survey costs to ascertain the structural integrity of the building of knocking out bricks for a door half way up the building.

    None of the following are asking for a door or use of the roof.. Freeholder. Lower leaseholder, other leaseholders, therefore you pay everyone else s costs.

    5)The freeholder will be charging you for his own surveyor to quantify the validity of inserting a door, even if you get a survey.

    6) Both leases will have to be changed to - probably both are responsible for the roof, or you are responsible for the covering on the roof, fixing leaks on the roof, as you will be walking on material that probably is not meant to be walked on.
    BUT ..........

    7) For the freeholder to impose conditions on the roof maintenance, first, he has to own the roof and lease it to you for you to be able to have sole use of the roof.
    The freeholder cannot own the roof, as the whole structure is for the ground floor flat to own and maintain, and stay that way so freeholder does not have to be involved. Freeholder did not build it, so not his problem.

    8) Solicitors will have to be engaged for you and other leaseholder to prepare a deed of ownership of each layer of the roof, with clauses that imply that if too much weight is on the roof, and also if in a concentrated area, that this could cause premature weakening of the roof and premature leaks in the roof.
    You would have to pay for both leaseholders legal costs and the freeholders legal cost for the door and change of lease for the door. So that's 3 solicitors costs for you. - and your application to the freeholder could be refused, and all those costs still tom pay. ( but giving a valid reason to refuse that would stand up in court ).

    You can't drill holes in someone elses roof or wall timbers, even if you get to use the roof.

    Happy roof quest.


      You dont own the flat roof so will need to negotiate the right to use the flat roof and any condtions ie you repair the roof.


        Agree with all that ram said. There is no way i would allow that if I owned the flat below you. Because any problems with the roof and noise caused by you using your roof garden are going to be to the downstairs flat. Maybe you will get agreement who knows. But it really sounds a bad idea to me. Your increasing the value of your property and possibly decreasing the value of the property below.


          I think you'll need planning permission too which you may not get due to your new terrace overlooking others property.


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